Books Made from one sheet of folded paper · Paper Toy

Square to Stage

A stage made from a square piece of paper

Here’s a post I have been wanting to write since last spring. I was asked to create a bookish project for a couple of classes of Pre-k and Kindergarten students, and I had only about 50 minutes to work with the students. These students were also going to work with the magnificently talented illustrator Sheri Ansel, who would be leading them through the process of drawing animals.

The World is a Stage….

I wanted, then, to create a structure that the students could use with the drawings that they made.  So, I figured out a way to make a simple structure which they could use to as a stage for drawings, which I imagined could be attached on to the ends popsicle sticks, and then moved around to create little performances.

A view showing the side supports
A view showing the side supports

The stage is made of a single sheet of square paper, which measures about 23″ on each side. It doesn’t much matter how big or small the paper is, any size seems to make a good stage. The paper is folded in half to form a triangle, and a window is cut out to create the viewing area, and a few more folds create the side supports and the flat top.


Notice how the side supports are open at the top: these supports double as pockets that can be used to store the puppets in, once storytime is over.

stage resquared
Stage Resquared

Here’s the stage, opened up to the square shape. No gluing is needed for the construction of this structure, so was a snap to deconstruct for this photo.

The window cut-out can be used for script writing

Since I was working with such a young crowd, I made sure to pencil in the window cut-out on to each of their papers. Some children cut out the shape themselves, others needed help. If I had been working with a crowd that could actually write sentences I would have encouraged them to use the window shapes as the pages for their script.

As our time was limited, I provided paper punch outs, which were used for decoration. They looked great, all lined up.

Naturally, as soon as the kids saw me snapping pictures, they all wanted to pose in their stage windows. No question, these kids are stars.

What’s delayed me in writing this post is that I want it to be followed by a tutorial page, similar to what I generally do, and that ‘s the piece that I wasn’t finding time for. I am now about half-way through the Adobe Illustrator how-to book, so I will be trying out my nascent Illustrator skills on putting together a tutorial.  I excited to attempt this challenge.

Addendum: here’s the how-to-make-a-stage tutorial post

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